Month Sixty-One

Camera Toss 047-2

Dear Husband,

So that whole nothing much at all happened during the month thing that we had going last month…we were apparently saving up for this month. I know that you know exactly what did happen and what didn’t but I want to write this down for posterity. Or so we can look back during a non-eventful month and go well things are not that bad…Although I guess, to be fair, it wasn’t all bad this month either.

We have known for a while that we wanted gas. You wanted a gas stove and oven and we had previously discussed getting gas fitted to the house. So we finally got it done and it was relatively painless. At least for us. The workers fitting the gas seemed not to have been advised that we were sitting on clay and there is apparently a random concrete pad buried in our front yard but that’s not our fault. Anyway, we got gas. Yay! You tried to call our regular plumber though and he lost your number. Inconvenient. This wasn’t a big deal though until our stupid solar system decided to leak again at which point we found out the plumber was about to go on holidays for three weeks. Very inconvenient.

But we can work around that you thought. You could climb on the roof yourself (despite your loathing of heights) and flush the solar tank and hopefully it would hold for a while. Like it did last time. Except that when you got up there, you found that it actually had a hole. The valve wasn’t just stuck. Bummer. So we got to experience the joys of turning the hot water on each time we showered and then off again while you madly arranged for a new plumber to come and fit the gas to the house, put in a new gas stove and a gas point in the living room.

This required a delicate balance of equipment, staff and time. You coordinated it all to the nth degree. You researched the stoves in advance to find the best option which turned out to seemingly be the only option. We have an old house and were still sporting a side by side instead of an upright or separate oven and stove. Only one company in Australia still sells these so we ordered one. Too easy. The store told you it would be there the following day but they couldn’t tell you when. They did say last deliveries were between 5pm and 7pm though so you advised that you would be there just before 7pm. They advised you they shut at 6pm. You were not amused…

We eventually got it delivered to the house though so it was on site. All good. Except that it was 2cm too big for the space. Not so good. We have asbestos walls. Bad. We can’t just make space by cutting into them. So you arranged to return the appliance. For a 20% restocking fee. On a $1700+ stove. To say that you were not amused would be an understatement. When they were not interested in the slightest if you decided to exchange the product as opposed to just returning it, that didn’t go down so well either. So we needed a new stove pronto. One that wasn’t going to maim Genevieve if she touched it (I stupidly mentioned cool touch ovens which sent you into a tailspin for a day or so). We also needed the plumber and the electrician and your day off to happen on the one day. Which they could have, if it wasn’t for the fact that it decided to piss down with rain…So there were a few more days of turning the hot water off an on again. Joy.

Then the night before it was all supposed to happen there was a mini panic. You feared that the plan to rip out the cupboard that held the side by side so that we could install an upright was seriously flawed. You worried that the cupboard was actually nailed into the asbestos walls thus necessitating a whole new kitchen not just an oven. This turned out to be a non-issue though as the cupboard was separate. Thankfully.

Finally it was gas day. A happy day. But not for the dog. He hated having people in his house. He spent part of the day shut in the hall (where he proceeded to put scratch marks in the door) or chained to the clothesline on a very short chain. I can only assume he went nuts barking on more than one occasion. You did tell me that the plumber was scared of Reuben so when you went to return the stove that didn’t fit and get the one that did, Reuben came with you in the car. Anyway, apart from being a long day, it all seemed to go well. Then we used the oven…

The first night, we had a look at all the buttons. You turned the light on to have a look at the shiny new oven and then it blew. That was frustrating but not the end of the world. The stove was great. However, the next night we decided to cook in the oven. With the fan. Which overheated and blew up. There was a loud popping sound and there was smoke! You did not use polite language. You weren’t very pleased when you spoke to Hardly Normal either. It wasn’t their fault, sure, but if they had sold you something faulty, by God, they were going to give you another one! When you get in full pissed mode, you are quite intimidating and when you got passed from Hardly Normal to Electrolack (the repair company who were incidentally the 20% restocking fee people) you got mad all over again and got promised all would be as you wish.

So forward to the oven repair guy. He has no authority to give you a replacement oven. Apparently neither did the person you would have spoken with at good old Electrolack on the phone. All he could do was fix your oven. Which he did. He put in a new light and a new fan. Then he turned on the oven and the fan. Then the fan began to smoke…at which point he did a little checking and advised that we were getting more current through the newly installed power point when it was turned off than when it was on and that the power point was why the fan would have blown up in the first place. At which point you called the plumber and had a “restrained” conversation where you told him to get in touch with his sub-contracted electrician immediately because you wanted him here now.

So now I am at home waiting for the sparky to show up who arrives to tell us that everything is ok. He did his thing and then we turned on the oven, we turned on the light and we turned on the fan and they did just what they were supposed to do. Which was as it should be so we chalked it all up to a bad experience and didn’t think on it any more until you got an SMS asking for your address so the electrician could send us a bill. This was another point at which you didn’t really have anything polite to say. You were once again very restrained in your actual response but he was one dumb comment away from you ripping his head off and eviscerating him.

We knew for instance that the apprentice sparky fitted the original power point. He may be a very good apprentice but it easier to think something could have been missed. We also have a work order to say that during the subsequent visit, the power point in question was terminated and then reset. It wasn’t like he just looked at the connection and said I think its fine. We also know that the oven repair guy had tools which said there was an issue in the first place. Tools. He wasn’t just pulling a plausible reason out of his butt. Not to mention the fact that the 2nd fan that was installed in the oven smoked as soon as it was left on as well! Then after the sparky’s visit, the oven fan didn’t smoke. Given all the above, I think we could be forgiven for assuming that the issue wasn’t ours. Which is why we had no intention of paying him another damned cent. I am assuming he understood this because we didn’t hear from him again.

After that, it was a case of you going back to Hardly Normal to demand a replacement oven since they told you Electrolack would replace it and they didn’t. Which they did and now we have a gas hot water system and a fully functioning oven which makes you happy. And to think, all it cost was a couple of hundred dollars more than it was supposed to, hours of your time and a bit of blood, sweat and tears…

The rest of the month was also a joy. I mentioned previously that it rained. It rained a lot! It bucketed down. Sometimes many days in a row. Which probably had nothing to do with your toothache that sent you to the dentist a couple of times and may or may not have contributed to you getting sick, which you also did. You felt very sorry for yourself and got a horrible cough that was so bad, it woke me up! I can only imagine how bad it must have been for you. It certainly didn’t make either of us very happy. It also possibly made other things worse.

I have been making a conscious effort to put in some extra yards at work recently. I want to turn my job into a career and a lot of things have been ramping up at my company. As a consequence, I had quite a few late afternoons or in some cases early evenings. Every time I would talk to you to say I would be late though, you were so curt and cranky. And then when I’d get home you weren’t much friendlier either. That made it really hard for me. You were taking my absence personally which I never intended and it caused more tension because I enjoyed what I was doing. I am really hoping that it eases up next month because this is not a cycle I wish to continue.

But all is not doom and gloom. We have a shiny new oven and stove that cooks beautifully.

Enduringly yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken from a random idea my sister and I had to set the self timer on a point and shoot and throw it in the air before the shutter went off. The colours are a reflection from a CD.

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